Buying a second home: take the time to think it over

A growing number of Canadians are buying a second a home. Given the current state of affairs at the global level, many people who live in the city are dreaming of getting away from it all in a more peaceful setting, while others who live far from the lights of the big city are looking for a place closer to the action.

Even though a second home is often referred to simply as a vacation property, the decision to buy should never be taken lightly because there are some major factors to consider.

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Downpayment is only the beginning

Buying a property means that your borrowing capacity will have to be evaluated and you will need to draw up a detailed budget. There are a number of other factors to take into account when buying a second home. After all, you’ll probably be spending less time in your second home than in your primary residence but you’ll still be faced with the maintenance costs and other expenses associated with home ownership. For example, you have to cover taxes, insurance, heating, electricity, water as well as possible renovations, seasonal upkeep and transportation. All of those expenses are in addition to what you’re already spending on your primary residence!

As you can see, before you start looking for the ideal location or the property of your dreams, you should take a close look at your budget to see whether you can afford all the costs that will be involved in owning a second home.

Here are some important budget items to think about: Continue reading

A drone in the house

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iStockphoto

How would you feel about adding a family member? All you have to do is adopt it. It’s a small robot with amazing capabilities that will proudly provide you with service at home. You can operate it using a remote control, your iPhone or digital tablet. Utopia and an old promise from the 60s? Read the following story. Your owner imagination will probably take off.

Once upon a time there was a small robot called a drone. It was an airplane without a human pilot that could be remotely controlled from the ground or by a flight program on the ground. The drone became known around the world for its military use. The Americans use many of them in their wars. They are nicknamed Barack Obama’s drones.

Visionaries zeroed in on the drone’s capabilities in civilian life. The little robot was already taking aerial photos. Real estate brokers use the drone to photograph deluxe homes in Los Angeles and Toronto. Practitioners of extreme sports will soon be able to film their exploits with a drone behind them that can fly up to 70 km/hour.

Drones do inspection and evaluation work in fields for farmers. Drainage drones will save Canadian municipalities thousands of dollars to renovate infrastructures.

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iStockphoto

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Lounge Atmosphere

Sylvie enjoyed the lounge style. She wore coloured clothing that reflected the ambient light. It was like a thousand lights reflecting off a plastic surface. She also had a weakness for vinyl handbags. They also reflected a thousand shimmering lights.

Sylvie liked lounges. Not just for the decor, but also for the ambience and the easy listening music. A renter, given her age, Sylvie promised herself that she would have a lounge in her first house. The living room, the bedroom, the kitchen, the bathroom—it didn’t matter which one.

To create a lounge atmosphere worthy of a bar, it has to be soft, cool, relaxed. It has to make you feel like sitting back, relaxing and talking.

There is lounge glamour, highlighted by classic elegance, as seen in movies of the 40s and 50s with Humphrey Bogart and Ava Gardner. Piano bar, dark colours, deluxe decor.

The ludic lounge appeared in the 60s. It’s almost science fiction decor. Bright colours, odd shapes, omnipresent light. Everything is flashy and chic. Continue reading

Concrete that is indestructible or close to it

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iStockphoto

Do you know the insulated concrete method for formwork? It consists in replacing the wood formwork with a polystyrene foam formwork (rigid insulation), for the foundation and the above-ground walls. The framework is an integral part of the wall because it stays in place after the concrete work.

This method offers several benefits: increased fire resistance, noise reduction, improved energy efficiency, strength and long-term profitability.

Energy efficiency may be the most obvious benefit. The walls are insulated without air space or thermal bridges inside and outside, from the footing to the roof. The building is impervious to heat loss and air infiltrations if the caulking around the openings is done properly.

This type of construction ensures sustainable development. In ideal conditions, poured concrete in an insulated framework provides a practically indestructible product that will resist humidity, insects and any type of degradation for a long time. Continue reading